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Cross-Channel communication and the end of the ‘Anglo-Norman realm’: Robert FitzWalter and the Valognes inheritance

Cross-Channel communication and the end of the ‘Anglo-Norman realm’: Robert FitzWalter and the Valognes inheritance

By Daniel Power

Tabularia, No.11 (2011)

Abstract: The collapse of the ‘Anglo-Norman realm’ in 1204 placed the Anglo-Norman aristocracy in an uneviable position, as most of its members were forced to choose between keeping their English or their French lands. The process of untangling the ties between the two countries in the ensuing decades has received little attention from historians. The present article considers the evidence of communication after 1204 between the English magnate Robert fitzWalter and French royal officials in Normandy, which was intended to resolve problems arising from charters that Robert and his wife Gunnor de Valognes had issued in favour of the priory of Notre-Dame-du-Pré before the collapse of the Angevin régime. These acts provide a revealing example of English interest and involvement in Norman affairs in the years following the Capetian annexation of Normandy, despite the continuing hostilities between the kings of England and France.

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